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Friday, 25 February, 2000, 11:07 GMT
Drug probe GP faces press

Dr John Gordon and family
Dr John Gordon, his wife Barbara and their two sons


A GP being investigated over the deaths of five of his drug-addict patients faced the press on Friday morning.

Dr John Gordon, 50, posed for photographers outside his home in Burgh by Sands, Cumbria, following his arrest on suspicion of manslaughter.

Dr Gordon was questioned after relatives raised fears over the quantity of methadone he was prescribing to addicts.

Methadone is given to addicts as way to wean them off heroin.

The investigation was believed to have been sparked by the death last week of Ian Armstrong, 35, from Carlisle.

Detectives are also probing the deaths of Jason Fletcher, 29, Michael Kirkpatrick, 19, Keir Hamilton, 18, and Anthony Gudgeon, 24.

Gross misconduct

Dr Gordon, a partner in a group practice in Warwick Road, Carlisle, was questioned over alleged gross misconduct relating to the prescribing of methadone.

The GP, who qualified at the University of Liverpool in 1974, has agreed not to go back to work until the police investigation is over.

He was not charged, but released on police bail until June.

A spokesman for Cumbria Police said: "As far as we are concerned this investigation in its early stages.

"We are waiting for toxicology results, which could take some time."

Dr Gordon said he had been advised not to discuss the case even though he would like to put his side across.

Police have stressed that they do not believe that there was any malicious intent on Dr Gordon's part.

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See also:
22 Feb 00 |  Health
GP arrested over patient deaths
22 Feb 00 |  J-M
Methadone factfile
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